Portuguese Custard Tarts

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  • Preparation time: 
  • Cooking time: 
  • Serves: Up to 12 people


For the pastry:

  • 200g plain flour (plus extra for dusting)                  
  • 1tbsp caster sugar                                              
  • 110ml cold water                                                
  • 100g unsalted butter, chilled                           

For the custard filling:

  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250ml water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Lemon rind from ½ a lemon
  • 25g plain Flour
  • 12g cornflour
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 vanilla pod  


  • Grease the muffin tin with melted butter.
  • Add 200g of plain flour and 1 tbsp of caster sugar to your Kenwood Chef bowl fitted with the K-beater. Start on speed 1 whilst gradually adding the cold water.
  • Once mixed in, increase the speed to 2 and mix for 1 minute, if the mixture is too dry to form a dough carefully add a tiny amount of water and mix again- the dough should be firm but not sticky.
  • Wrap the dough and chill for 20 minutes.
  • Fit the food processor attachment to the high-speed outlet with the coarse grating plate and grate the unsalted butter.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge, transfer to a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a rectangle approximately 30 x 40cm.
  • Sprinkle half of the grated butter over the surface of the dough.
  • With the shorter edge facing you, fold the top third toward you and the bottom third up over it.
  • Turn the dough 90 degrees, roll out to the same size again, add the remaining grated butter.
  • With the shorter edge facing you, fold the top third toward you and the bottom third up over it.
  • Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Repeat the rolling out and folding process twice more. Wrap and chill for another 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add the caster sugar, water, cinnamon and lemon rind into a medium saucepan. Place over a high heat, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Carefully transfer the syrup to a jug, set aside to chill completely in the fridge, leave the cinnamon and lemon peel to infuse in the syrup.
  • Preheat the oven to 230°C.
  • Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out to a thickness of 5mm. Using a pastry cutter, cut out 12 circles big enough to fill the sides of the muffin tin.
  • Line the tin with the pastry. Return the pastry cases to the fridge whilst you make the filling.
  • Combine the plain flour and cornflour in a small mixing bowl and add 80ml of milk, stirring until completely smooth.
  • Add the remaining 220ml of milk to a large saucepan, bring to the boil stirring regularly.
  • Once boiling remove from the heat, add the contents of the saucepan to the mixer bowl fitted with the whisk.
  • Whisk on speed 3 and whilst whisking, pour in the contents of the small mixing bowl.
  • Increase the speed to 6 and whisk for 30 seconds, or until fully combined.
  • Halve the vanilla pod, scrape with a knife to remove the seeds.
  • In a medium bowl, add the eggs, eggs yolk and the seeds from the vanilla pod and beat with a fork to combine.
  • Remove the cinnamon stick and lemon rind from the chilled sugar syrup.
  • Start the machine on speed 3, whilst whisking add the syrup into the milk mixture, continue whisking whilst you add the contents of the medium bowl, whisk for a further 20 seconds on speed 6.
  • Pour the custard mixture into the pastry cases, filling each one almost to the top.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the custard looks puffed up and scorched on top and the pastry is golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin, take care they will be extremely hot.

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